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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

April 27, 2011

Reasons for Riding Limited Distance vs. Endurance

I think about this one a lot.  My ultimate long-term goal was always to ride full fledged endurance.  I know I will eventually give it a whirl.  Right now I feel like Phebes and I are just finding our feet.  Our last time out I really enjoyed myself (except for the little run-away horse incident).  Especially day-two, which is strange as normally I don't relish riding "with" someone, because most of the time other riders slow gear, would be my "fast" gear.  So it never meshes well.  Riding with Sabine and Leon however was the closest I've come to a harmonized ride with someone else.  Leon had been on vacation for almost two years, so that perfect riding equation will likely never happen again.  Sabine and Leon usually truck on down the trail.  Leon is very tall with a huge loose stride.  Phebes is like a little tight coiled wire.  But I have to say I loved that day two ride.  Sabine I'm not sure I remember her nationality, but when she speaks to her horse it is in her native language, and it sounds so lovely.  Not a clue what she's telling Leon, but you can tell whatever it is she's saying, it's kind    I've also decided that I love riding multi-days.  We usually only have two-day rides available within my acceptable traveling range, but for now two days is good.  I feel like I've accomplished something when I'm done.  Riding two days also has a serious positive effect on my day one ride, as I want to have a horse to ride day two and I feel I need to be much more conservative in attacking the terrain than I would necessarily be on a one day.   It is still a struggle for me to let everyone just ride off without us.  But getting the extra miles, and the extra day to try it again is a very motivating bonus.  I feel that Phebes probably has the physical fitness to attempt a slow 50, however, not the mental fitness and calm mind that I'd like to see prior to an attempt.  I also think about the apples and oranges scenerio.  If I ride a 50 now I don't get those miles in our LD basket.  So in order to earn our chevron this season we need to keep our apples and oranges from co-mingling!   We lack 55 miles of earning her first distance chevron.  That my little mare has a trophy of sorts for all her effort is important to me.  If they gave out awards for "change in behavior" she'd have already won several awards by now ☺  I was looking at the top mileage LD horses today...and if we ride a hundred or so....we might get there!  Of course I'd be 75 years young by then, and Phebes will be in her thirties *LOL*  Maybe my feelings will change at some point.  But for now, I'm just so happy doing what we are doing that I can't see a reason to move up, at least, not until the entire process becames way too easy, which it still is not for either of us.  Then there is the dollar expenditure.  If I do a 50 mile ride, that is it.  Weekend over --as I don't have a budget to ride multi-50's.  If I ever do a 50, it won't be to do a string of 50's.  It will be for  a little different goal which I'm mulling around in my mind.  The long-term goal is beginning to take shape...however loosely in my mind. 

What shapes your decision to ride LD vs. Endurance?  ~E.G.


  1. I love that there are so many ways to approach endurance! My ultimate goal is to complete Tevis some day on Mika. I think it's a reasonable goal for us. He's only 6 this year. I really don't have the time or inclination right now to condition for much more than the LDs. I'm just too busy working full time and going to school full time. I also have read that it takes a few years too build up all the tendons and muscles to be able withstand something like 100s long term. So we'll stick to LDs for a couple seasons at least before we move up. I'd LOVE to still be competing on him in 20 years so I'm happy to take things slower now.

  2. I am so glad you're happy doing LDs. If everything goes sideways every time I try another 50 this year, I will be perfectly happy to drop back to riding LDs with Dixie. Just doing 25-30 miles on a willing happy (firey race-brained) horse is amazing accomplishment enough. It's like whining about "only" getting a 1400 on your SAT - you're still in the top 10% of all horses.

    Anyway, what's this about budget? Out here LD's are, consistently, $10 cheaper than 50s. $90 for a 50, $80 for a 25, or thereabouts. Are they much less than 50s in Central?